How Big Tobacco Hooked Children on Sugary Drinks

What do these ads featuring Joe Camel, Kool-Aid Man along with the maniacal mascot for Hawaiian Punch have in common?

All three were created by Big Tobacco within the decades when cigarette makers, seeking to diversify their holdings, acquired some of America’s iconic beverage brands. They used their expertise in artificial flavor, coloring along with marketing to heighten the products’ appeal to children.

of which tobacco companies once sold sugar-sweetened drinks like Tang, Capri Sun along with Kool-Aid is usually not exactly news. however researchers combing through a vast archive of cigarette company documents at the University of California, San Francisco stumbled on something revealing: Internal correspondence showed how tobacco executives, barred through targeting children for cigarette sales, focused their marketing prowess on young people to sell sugary beverages in ways of which had not been done before.

The archive, known as the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, was created as part of a settlement between major cigarette companies along with states of which were seeking to recoup smoking-related health care costs. The researchers published their findings on Thursday within the medical publication BMJ.

“If a kid gets used to drinking Kool-Aid instead of water, they are always going to prefer a sugary beverage,” said Ms. Harris, who was not involved within the study. “along with the advertising creates positive associations with these products within the minds of children.”

Hawaiian Punch, as in This particular ad through the 1950s, was originally marketed to adults. Punchy is usually nowhere to be found.CreditNO CREDIT

Before its atomic red, sweet bouquet came to dominate school cafeterias along with birthday parties nationwide, Hawaiian Punch was sold as a cocktail mixer for adults along with came in only two flavors. After purchasing the brand in 1963 through the Pacific Hawaiian Products Company, R.J. Reynolds rebranded the beverage for children, according to company documents. Executives expanded the repertoire of flavors to 16, along with discontinued Amber Apple, a product favored by mothers, after taste tests with children found they preferred Red Apple.

The solution: Rebrand Tang for young adolescents.